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Denver has been a breeding ground for fast food restaurants that opened here for decades before spreading across the country and causing a stir in every new city they enter. Chipotle, Qdoba, Garbanzo, Noodles & Company, and Quiznos are just a few examples of the success of Denver Originals. And for Coloradans moving to other states or traveling to work or vacation, a touch of home can often be comforting and familiar.
The process also works the other way around, as we’ve seen with the behavior of fans of Shake Shack, Torchy’s Tacos, Raising Cane’s, Chick-Fil-A, and especially In-N-Out Burger. Add another to the list as the Halal Guys plan to enter the Denver market from where they live in New York City.
The Halal Guys are a real success story from the street to the boardroom. The company was founded by Abdelbaset Elsayed, Mohamed Abouelenein and Ahmed Elsaka, three Egyptians who started selling gyros, grilled chicken and falafel sandwiches and platters from a cart in 1990. Since then, the company has grown to more than ninety locations worldwide (with about 30,400 in the works) – and Denver is next, thanks to franchise owners and Colorado Natives Chris Bui and Kevin Than.
Customers line up at the original Halal Guys cart in New York City.
Courtesy of the Halal Guys
“Denver has been a hotbed of creativity and innovation in the fast-casual restaurant segment for the past fifteen to twenty years,” said Ahmed Abouelenein, CEO of Halal Guys, who is also the son of one of the company’s founders. “It’s a city that we have long recognized as a sophisticated, vibrant place. We just hadn’t found the right partners to make this happen. Kevin and Chris, who were lifelong residents, turned out to be perfect partners around the.” Bring Halal Guys. ” to Denver. “
The two will be opening their first Halal Guys outpost this spring (or early summer) on East Alameda Avenue and South Sable Boulevard in Aurora. The restaurant is located in the new Parkside residential complex, in which around 250 residential units and several retail spaces are nearing completion. (Coincidentally, it’s just a stone’s throw away from the subway area’s first In-N-Out burger, where customers queued for hours to open the burger joint at the end of November.) From there, Bui and Than plan to several more Halal Guys locations to open from Colorado Springs to Boulder.
Then he says he’s been interested in bringing the Halal Guys to Denver since friends took him to the original New York wagon in 2008. “It’s a simple concept, but with a lot of depth of flavor,” he notes.
“The Halal Guys pioneered American halal cuisine,” added Andrew Eck, vice president of marketing for the company. “Since our launch as a hot dog cart on the streets of New York City, we’ve been committed to making the perfect platter. From our delicious basmati rice to our 24-hour marinated chicken grilled right in front of you, ours Passion for unique flavors can be seen from the first bite. Round it off with our world-famous white sauce and the fiery hot sauce for the perfect halal guys-style platter. ”
So that’s the word of the Halal Guys themselves; For those of us who haven’t tried the food, all we have to do is wait and let our taste buds decide. However, if you moved here from New York City or dined at a Halal Guys store during your trip, you may already be planning to go to work the day grilled chicken goes up for sale in Aurora. After all, it’s worth getting a familiar taste of something that brings back fond memories.
For the latest progress information, visit @thehalalguyscolorado on social media.
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Mark Antonation is the Westword Food & Drink Editor. He began eating and writing about every restaurant on Federal Boulevard and continues to cover the diverse international food scene on Metro Denver and the city’s rapidly changing dining landscape. Mark was recognized as an Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association in 2018.